01 November, 2022
21 May, 2023
Team Igokea
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Igokea, Tofas set up dream date with destiny for first YBCL title

BURSA (Turkey) - Igokea m:tel and hosts Tofas SC have set up a dream date with destiny as the two undefeated teams will square off in the Final of the inaugural Youth Basketball Champions League for the right to hoist the first trophy in the competition's history.

Igokea needed a massive team effort to fight past BC Rytas in the first Semi-Final while Tofas SC had a much easier time of it against Hapoel Jerusalem in a game that saw the first triple-double in YBCL history.


Igokea survive thriller over Rytas

Igokea and BC Rytas gave youth basketball fans a game for the ages with 5 points being the biggest lead for either side. Igokea ended up getting the job done with a 76-72 victory.

Turning point: The game was tight and went back and forth throughout with Igokea massively struggling from outside - hitting just 3-of-15 on three-pointers. With the game knotted 63-63, Ognen Stankovic and Vasilije Kuridza hit back-to-back triples and then Ognjen Radosic made 2-of-3 free throws after being fouled shooting from deep. That gave Igokea a 71-66 advantage. Slobodan Kecman's team limped towards the finish line with an unsportsmanlike foul and offensive foul turnover, but Radosic made two free throws with 11 seconds left to ice the game 76-72.

Game hero: Stankovic played 36:06 minutes and controlled the ball nearly the entire game for Igokea. And the first team guard scored 21 points on 8-of-14 shots and also grabbed 6 rebounds, dished out 10 assists and swiped 5 steals.


Stats don't lie: Rytas failed to control the ball, committing 22 turnovers - to 14 for Igokea. And Igokea converted those turnovers into 26 points with Rytas getting 15 points.

Bottom line: Igokea can now get some rest and recovery while the coaching staff immediately started scouting for the Final. Coach Kecman used only 8 players with Stankovic playing 36:06 minutes and Dusan Makitan playing all 40:00 minutes. Those two leaders know they are 40 minutes from glory.

Ognjen Radosic poured in a 20 important points against Rytas

Cengiz triple-double sparks Tofas past Jerusalem

Tofas did not need to exert nearly as much energy as they were a class better than Hapoel Jerusalem in an 81-63 victory in the second Semi-Finals.

Turning point: This game was decided pretty early on as Tofas went on a 17-2 run spanning the first two quarters to take a 31-13 cushion. Jerusalem could not get closer than 8 points the rest of the way two times in the third quarter, and Tofas rolled to the win.

Game hero: Ozgur Cengiz nearly had a double-double at halftime (13 points and 9 rebounds) and he ended the game with the first triple-double in YBCL history: 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. The guard has been Tofas' Superman all tournament and he showed it again in the Semi-Finals. Evren Demirci does need special mention as he kept Jerusalem at bay by scoring 27 points on 13-of-16 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Stats don't lie: Tofas out-rebounded Jerusalem 58 to 37 and also really did an excellent job in getting easy points with a 14-6 advantage on points off turnovers and 14-4 on fast break points.

Bottom line: Tofas are exactly where they were hoping to be - in the Final and just one victory from claiming the first-ever YBCL crown. Head coach Cem Akdag basically used a seven-man rotation in the game with three guys playing at least 35 minutes.

Evren Demirci was outstanding with 27 points and 12 rebounds

Ludwigsburg, Tenerife to face off for 5th place

Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg and Lenovo Tenerife will square off for fifth place after winning their respective Classification 5-8 games.

Ludwigsburg jumped ahead with the first 16 points and carried that to a 73-60 victory over UCAM Murcia COC Oftalmologia. Moek Icke led Ludwigsburg with 17 points and 7 rebounds while Simon Feneberg had 15 points and Esli Edigin scored 14 points. Sekou Traore paced Murcia with 13 points and 10 rebounds.


Tenerife rallied from 14 points down and prevailed in a thriller 77-76 over Oostende CORETEC Basketball Academy. Tenerife trailed 52-38 and used a 15-2 run to get within 54-53. The final 4 minutes went back and forth with 7 lead changes. Mohamed Sangare scored the deciding layup with 36 seconds to go. Oostende had the final possession with 0.5 seconds left but Corentin Efono's buzzer beater was just off.


Sangare was unstoppable with 31 points and 17 rebounds and Pablo Grima chipped in 7 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Siel Dedoelder led Oostende with 24 points, Jarne Elouna had 16 points and Efono added 13 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists in the loss.

Herzliya hold on for 9th place

Bnei Herzliya finished their tournament on a high note as they defeated Basketball Academy Nymburk 78-72 for ninth place. The Israeli side took over the second and third quarters and built a 23-point lead but were made to sweat in the end. Nymburk trailed by 20 points after 30 minutes but started the fourth quarter on an 18-2 run to pull within 66-62 with a minute to play. The Czechs, who did not win a game in the event, could not finish the comeback though.


Alon Michaeli collected a monster double-double of 16 points and 16 rebounds plus 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks and Itay Yosi Akunis scored 14 for Herzliya. Peter Kovacik and Jan Bubenicek both had 14 points in the loss.